The Member of Parliament for Hertsmere has branded a proposed rail freight terminal as "ludicrous and unnecessary".

Conservative MP Oliver Dowden has criticised the proposals for rail freight terminal on Green Belt Land near St Albans.

The site would be constructed on former Radlett Airfield land near Park Street.


Hertfordshire County Council has already agreed to sell this land, but no sale has yet been completed.

In a letter to constituents and the campaign group 'Save St Albans: Fight the Freight', Oliver Dowden MP said: "It would clog our roads, blight our countryside and put further pressure on the Thameslink line.

"I am alarmed that Herts County Council approved the sale of the site.

"It is ludicrous that the land is used for a completely unnecessary rail freight terminal."

Herts Advertiser: Hertfordshire County Council say that they are 'reluctant sellers'.Hertfordshire County Council say that they are 'reluctant sellers'. (Image: Herts County Council)

When approached for comment, Richard Roberts, leader of Hertfordshire County Council told The Herts Advertiser: "We are reluctant sellers and always have been, following the St Albans District Council approval when the development of the site was raised.

"Against our advice and local position, the Secretary of State at the time (Eric Pickles) ruled in favour of the interchange after considering all of the available information.

"Once the site was authorised to have started its development by St Albans District Council, we were left with no choice but to accept the offer from SEGRO.

"We didn’t believe this was a good place for a freight interchange, we still don’t, but we are doing everything possible to ensure that this development comes with substantial benefits for the local community and indeed, the wider county.”


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'Save St Albans: Fight the Freight' claim that too much has changed since permission was granted for the rail freight terminal.

Park Street councillor Nuala Webb added: "So much has changed since approval was given, Brexit, HS2, cross-rail, alternative rail freight interchanges and the cost of upgrading the rail line – all of these bring into question the viability of the site as a strategic rail freight terminal.”

A petition to stop Hertfordshire County Council from selling the land has now reached 4,500 signatures.